What is mental and behavioral health?
HHS is continuing to provide mental health and drug and alcohol services through contracted community providers. Many of these services are now available through telehealth methods.
Mental health refers to the part of a person’s health that is often associated with their emotions, internal balance, and harmony. Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Behavioral health refers to the part of a person’s health that is often associated with their mental and physical behaviors and how those impact and relate to their mental and physical health and well-being. These can manifest as protective or harmful behaviors, like exercising, eating, and smoking.
Mental and behavioral health is a critically important aspect of LGBTQ+ care and support. Unfortunately, it is well known that LGBTQ+ people disproportionately experience discrimination, stigma, trauma, and social isolation from a young age. This can persist throughout life and especially during periods of development. This can have profound impacts on an LGBTQ+ person’s mental and behavioral health. These experiences have been connected to health disparities in the LGBTQ+ community, such as increased rates of alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, and suicide. Therefore, it is critically important for LGBTQ+ people to have social support and community, as well as access to LGBTQ+ competent mental and behavioral health providers that can help LGBTQ+ people develop and maintain health behaviors and strategies for coping with stress and discrimination. LGBTQ+ people need care providers and community that affirm their identities and lived experiences while normalizing, not othering, the existence of LGBTQ+ people.
Where to Go for Care
One of the best ways to find a mental healthcare provider is to search the directory at Psychology Today. Within their directory, you can search by topic area and insurance coverage.
Mental Health Crisis Resources
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Professional Resources for the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic
Leave a Reply